How to cook for yourself by yourself

“I like to cook, but for other people.”

“When I am on my own; I just do not see the point of preparing food for myself; I cannot finish it all off on my own.

” I do not like to plan.”

I hear comments like these often. For me these are just excuses that these individuals have been conditioned to believe. This may come off as judgmental, however I have observed that people who tell me these things, are eating a lot of highly processed foods. Another thing I have observed is that the people that have told me these things usually complain about their sugar intake, go on drastic crash diets and fasts at some point, or suffer from some stomach ailment.

Personally, I find it annoying when people comment on my eating habits. I usually get these comments like “oh wow its insane how much effort you put in.” “I simply could not cook like you, I have too much to do.” I do not understand why the normal act of cooking needs to be commented on so much. Let us get something straight, cooking for yourself and preparing food for yourself is part of being human. Without food we as humans do not function.

Some people try to go for long stretches without food and trick themselves that they do not need adequate quantities of food because they are “so zen”. For me this just sounds like an eating disorder, as it is a matter of disciplining yourself and restricting only to binge on a whole bar of chocolate at night.

However, I do not mean to say that everyone who does not cook for themselves fits the above outlined scenarios. I get comments about my cooking especially from white cis males, who ridicule my cooking and try to gaslight me by saying that I am too extreme with my cooking habit. I assume that these individuals come from households where the parents do the cooking and that they have socially acceptable body types that they simply do not need to think about cooking. I get comments from women as well mainly women who are thin and do not experience social stigma for their body types, other times they question me buying of organic produce as if I should not be buying organic.

But I won’t let these negative comments slow me down. Cooking for myself is an act of self-preservation, it is my way of caring for myself. I have noticed that my mood and the way I think and feel all depends on how my nutrition and digestion is taken care of.

This post is for those that simply find it difficult to take care of themselves and cook for themselves by themselves and for themselves. No worries darling, I got you covered, it is simple. It may be boring at first, but you can do it.

As a side note, I am currently in a long-distance relationship myself, so I have been cooking a lot for myself and to be honest I know what it is like to be unmotivated to cook for yourself. So here is a very doable checklist to get you started on cooking for yourself, let’s get it!

1.   Meal Prep

Meal prepping is a great tool, which will assure that you always have self-cooked food available. To meal prep you need five things:

  1. Tupperware
  2. Rice cooker (optional but also essential if you are highly unmotivated)
  3. Some carbohydrate: rice, millet, cornflour, potatoes
  4. Legumes
  5. Veggies

-Get a rice cooker! At the push of a button, you can prep your legumes and you can make your rice and millet. The best part of a rice cooker is that you do not need to take care of anything or worry that something will get burnt, as it automatically switches off when everything is done.

-Prepare your veggies by simply chopping them up, place on a baking tray, drizzle them with your favourite oil (if you are oil free use water), massage in your favourite spices and shove in the oven and bake till ready.

During meal prep to avoid loneliness I would recommend listening to a podcast or to some feel good tunes, trust me it really helps.

-Now that you have prepped your meals, put everything in a separate Tupperware and once cooled place in the fridge. I always make dressings as well that I then drizzle on my food. I make different dressings so that even though the base of my food is the same; veggies, carbohydrate and legumes the dressing always differs which adds a different flavour. Here is one of my fave tahini dressing recipe:

What you will need:

1 Tbsp of tahini

½ tsp of honey or molasses

½ tsp of miso

1 Tbsp of lemon

1 tsp of apple cider

Chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

Mix everything in a small bowl with a whisk and place in a small tightly sealed jar. Drizzle on food when serving or just before consumption.

 

-For legume recipes there are a ton of things that you can make, think daal, or coconut mung beans, bean chilli.

 

2.   Prepare a tray of something sweet

If you like sweets or always need desert than prepare a tray of something sweet. I personally like to make a big tray of sweet potato brownies, that I cut into squares. I freeze half of the brownies so that they do not go bad. Another alternative is making energy balls or banana bread.

 

 

3.   Autopilot Breakfast

In winter I always eat the same breakfast which is oatmeal. This is my go to breakfast and it does not change it is part of my morning routine, since I already know what I will be having for breakfast I do not have to think too much about it.

I would recommend finding something that you always have for breakfast as well, something that remains constant.

However, if you get bored quickly of having the same thing every day then switch up the toppings or alternate between two things that you like. You could also designate a day on the weekend when you will make a special breakfast like pancakes or a chickpea omelette.

Invite a friend over on weekends and have breakfast with them or eat with your flatmates/family on weekends or when you have time.

4.   Soup for Dinner

I would recommend making a super quick soup for dinner. Soups are warming and if you are someone that maybe does not snack or goes for long hours between meals because of classes or work, soups are a good idea. Soups are super easy to make so make sure to always have a veggie bouillon (aka vegetable stock) at home.

If you do not want to wash up or anything grab your favourite soup bowl; boil water in a water cooker; take a desired portion of your vegetable stock and place it in your bowl; add boiling water into your bowl and stir; now add the veggies from your meal prep; add legumes from meal prep; you can also add the carb from your meal prep: then top with lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs; add your choice of spices and enjoy!

try my miso soup recipe.

*Tip- buy a bunch of fresh herbs wash them and freeze them, these herbs last you ages and can always be used when you need them.

5.Remember this is for you

Remember that cooking for yourself is an act of self-love. Yes, I know that some of you may not relate to this, as you have always felt love or maybe you never have, and it is difficult for you to cut out time for yourself because someone told you it is wasteful. Self-care and self-love does not always have to be cultivated by doing extraordinary things on the contrary I think that it is the little day to day things that add up like cooking for yourself. You do not need to cook something extravagant either, all you really need is simple ingredients, ingredients that you can understand. Beans, rice and spinach so simple yet so nutritious. I hope this list is of some help!

Do not hesitate to reach out to me and share your ideas and questions in the comment section below or send me a mail. Now go on you got this 😊

Make your on Chocolate : Raw Chocolate barks

 

I sprinkeled some lacuma powder and aronia powder it added so much flavor.
I sprinkled some lacuma powder and aronia powder it added so much flavor.

So seeing that it is getting colder here in these parts of the world and soon there will be Christmas and hot cups of cacao and lots and lots of chocolate. I have decided to make some chocolate myself, it is much better than all that stuff you can buy in the supermarkets and it is cheaper than buying that fancy expensive chocolate and  it tastes amazing. Its also super easy to make. Less processed, vegan, refined sugar free, nourishing full of antioxidants and vitamins… the list of the goodness of making your own chocolate is endless. Make these for your friends and family, gift them, share them eat them and feel good.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of cacao

3 tablespoons of rice syrup or maple syrup

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, if the mix is too liquidy add more cacao if its too dry please add more coconut oil. mix it well it should be moldable pour on parchment paper and shape like a chocolate bar-make it which ever size you want really. Place in the freezer once it has firmed up remove from the freezer and let it sit outside for 20 minutes now cut it into barks and place in a container and keep cool, or wrap them and gift them.

I made one bar with raisins and walnuts and sprinkled some lacuma and aronia powder on top before freezing which made the chocolate really delicious and gave it a sweet rich taste. The second bar i made peanut butter with pecans which was also delicious, i just added a teaspoon of Peanut butter into the wet mixture and sprinkled some pecans on top before freezing.

Optional:

1.Add in nuts to batter

or

2.top with nuts and then place in the freezer

or

3. Add raisins

or

4.Mix in peanut butter in the mix

or

5.Mix in hemp seeds

or

6. lavender

or

7. Cardamom seeds

The possibilities are really endless, i have decided to share a video by Taline Gabriel as she illustrates really well how to mix the mixture to make the chocolate.

http://https://youtu.be/2XRbeRtWbRE

In a Banana Bread life is sweet. My TOP 3 Recipes.

 

So it has been 1 month since i last blogged. I am sorry for the missing in action, action. Its a failure of time management on my part honestly, however here i am now my friends. I come bearing banana bread recipes.

Banana Bread is really a magical thing so many good memories and things have happened in my life which can all be traced back to banana bread. I have met and had awesome conversations with people all because of banana bread seriously its magic if its mixed up and done right.

Banana bread for me needs to be simple, fast and easy to prepare. I think everybody can make banana bread and share it with people, its not difficult at all trust me! it is also a great thing as it does not require fancy ingredients and is free from sugar and from gluten ( well the banana bread i make is). I have tried several recipes and i have come up with three recipes that never ever fail so here they are.

 

Recipe 1.

Gluten Free Date Sweet Banana Bread

This recipe is one of the first banana breads i made. I must admit that the original recipe was not vegan however once i became vegan i realised that i needed to vegan this recipe up. I have one of the best memories with this recipe, i had my first kiss with my boyfriend because we couldn’t go out as I had just placed the banana bread in the oven when he asked me to meet me. So i told him to come over instead and the rest is history.

Recipe adapted from Laura in the Kitchen

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups Oat Flour
4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 cup Dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 176 degrees celsius.

In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.

Toss in the chopped up dates.

In another bowl mix up all the wet ingredients.

Now pour the wet ingredients into the flour mix and stir well.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.

**If you want you can chop up a banana in to slices and place them on top of your bread. This is purely for optical reasons as it will look nice**

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes

let it cool for a while before serving did someone say Peanut butter!

Recipe 2:  Taline Gabriels Banana Bread

Sadly i do not have the rights to share this recipe since it is not my own recipe. However i would recommend all of you to check out Taline Gabriel’s Hippielaneapp. This is an amazing app ( FYI this is not a paid promotion or some rubbish like that), I only promote things that i personally also use and have bought with my few student budget pennies. I would recommend this app to anyone who wants to try making their own vegan, raw, gluten free and refined sugar free treats. She has some real awesome and simple recipes. On her website there are a few free recipes that one can test out before deciding to download her app. Her banana bread recipe is gluten free and i made it because a housemate of mine is glutenfree and i wanted to bake something healthy that all my housemates could enjoy and then i tried her recipe and everybody loved it. We have all made this banana bread several times again in the house and it always tasted awesome.

j
Image is from the hippielaneapp. not my image.

Recipe 3: Super Simple Banana Bread

This is a recipe that i came up with when i was broke( which is usually towards the end of the month, student problems!) but i still wanted to make banana bread i had just written my last exam and wanted to spread the love and joy. I had four ripe bananas and lotsa oats so i went ahead and came up with this super easy recipe which was inspired by a banana bread that a friend had made and brought over a week prior. His banana bread was awesome ( sadly i do not have the recipe…YET).

Ingredients:

3 Cups of Oats flour ( place oats in a food processor and voila)

3 mashed bananas, chop up the fourth one and keep aside

1/2 cup of rice syrup

1 cup of plantbased milk

1 tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of baking powder

1 cup of chopped up walnuts and pecans

Method:

Preheat oven to 160 degree celsius.

add all you dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.

mix all your wet ingredients in a separate bowl first and then add to the flour mix. Fold in half a cup of the nut mix.

line a loaf pan with baking paper and pour in the mixture. place the chopped banana pieces neatly on top and sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.

put in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the fork comes out clean 🙂

Nomnom!!!